Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Salted Caramel Brownies





These salted caramel brownies are pure heaven. I used the recipe from Smitten Kitchen (come to think of it, all my brownie recipes are from there, and they all turn out amazing). The combination of salty caramel and dark chocolatey texture of a brownie is unbelievable, and just as the author promised, they turned out rich, messy, soft, not too sweet, irresistible. My home-made caramel didn't quite set even after 40 min in a freezer, yet it didn't really affect the taste - just the look of it: we ended up with little caramel craters on top. 
Have a wonderful Wednesday !

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Working from home dilemma

This morning I have come across an interesting New York Times article on the recent changes to a work-from-home policy at Yahoo. There are different school of thoughts, when it comes to the flexibility that working from home offers, one of them being a dilemma of productivity vs creativity: based on research mentioned in the article, working from home might actually result in a higher productivity, however it would have a detrimental impact on collaboration and creativity. In my line of work here in Copenhagen, it is generally acceptable to have flex hours, and work from home some days, especially when we do not need to interact with anyone from our team. I personally prefer having a healthy balance of office hours combined with some flexibility of logging on from home, especially when i need to finalise some work that requires high attention to detail and zero interruption. However after a while i always miss the office buzz, the social element of having my team-mates around, the networking, laughter, chats over lunch and coffee. How is it in your countries and as a manager, would you encourage your team to work from home once in a while?

Have a great Tuesday !

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Oscars aftermath



Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty
Did you watch live-streaming of the Oscars last night? Here in Copenhagen I am still jet-lagged after the US trip, and luckily or not couldn't sleep anyway, thus managed to see quite a bit of the red carpet arrivals. Which dresses did you find most impressive? My favourite looks were probably the ones of Jennifer Aniston in a surprising cherry-red Valentino, Alicia Vikander in ethereal blue and a statuesque white Dior Haute Couture on Charlize Theron. P.S. did you know that Helen Hunt was wearing H&M to this year Oscars?
And what about the Oscars winners, were you surprised? I've been cheering for Argo all along; very happy for their victory in the Best Picture category. I've also been told that the winner for the Best Documentary Feature - Searching for Sugar Man - is an absolute must-see, and one of the most moving things ever. Time to catch up on the movies! Have a fantastic week ahead

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Best homemade pancakes



Nothing can be better than a home-cooked brunch, especially after long travels, when you have such a rare and wonderful opportunity to wake up at home on a weekend. I've been craving my boyfriend's made-from-scratch-pancakes during my entire business trip to the US last week. And it was worth the wait. Best pancakes ever.
Recipe - makes 20-25 feathery, airy, buttery, juicy, absolutely delicious pancakes:

3 eggs
1 table spoon vanilla sugar
1 tea spoon sugar
splash of beer
0.5 l full-fat milk
5-7 table spoons of flour
a little bit of butter for the frying pan
a pinch of salt

First, whisk the eggs with sugars. Continue whisking while adding a spoon of flour, followed by a bit of milk, flour, milk, and so forth. Butter your frying pan for every pancake, pour 2/3 of a ladle into the frying pan and spread evenly. Check the readiness after a few seconds and flip to the other side. Best served with a sour-sweet jam (black currant is our favourite, but grape jelly is also excellent) and vanilla ice-cream, or eurocrem, nutella, hazelnut-chocolate spread with ice-cream as well. Bon appetit!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Mother Groups


Eva, Oskar and Eva's Mother-group: photo by www.magasinetmor.dk
 My friend Eva, a Mom to adorable almost 6 months old Oskar, has shared her recent experience of being interviewed for a Danish magazine Mor (Mother), together with her diverse and very cute looking Mother-group. Not sure whether Mother-group concept exists in other countries in such an organised fashion like in Scandinavia? Here in Denmark, for instance, shortly after the new Mom is released from the hospital, which is normally after 24 hours, she would receive a list of names and contact details of the new Moms in her neighbourhood, inclulding a brief intro to their babies. This can be a good opportunity for the new Moms to bond, share their experiences, get advice and helpful tips, and just have a good time. What do you think? Have a fantastic week!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

New job: your first 90 days

If you are in the middle of a transition - moving to a new job in another company, getting promoted to a new, leadership position, within your current organisation, changing teams, industries, etc, you might find this book, The first 90 days, by Michael Watkins, really helpful. There is an excellent structure and tons of pragmatic tips for the planning and maximising your time - first three months - in a new job, to help you understand the culture, build relationship with your team and new boss, identify and hopefully realise a few of the quick wins, learn as much as possible and adapt to your new job. Happy reading !

Monday, February 11, 2013

Babies sleeping outside in Scandinavia

Photo by Jenny Brand/Dos Family for A Cup of Jo
We have found a reference to this post from September 2011 on babies sleeping in prams outside cafes and shops in Denmark, in today's Motherhood Monday update on the american blog  A Cup of Jo. First of all, it was really nice to see the pictures of Copenhagen, in sunny weather, posted by someone from New York. And most interesting of course was the question asked by the american blogger: outside Scandinavia (or, if you are a foreigner living in Scandinavia), would you leave your baby in a pram sleeping outside while you are enjoying your brunch, coffee with friends or indulging in a bit of shopping? I must admit that having lived in Copenhagen for quite a few years, i am finally, slowly, buying into this idea. Especially if there is 200% visibility of the pram with the baby inside it from the coffeeshop window, plus the baby is equipped with a baby-alarm. What do you think?
Have a happy week!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Chocolate kingdom in Kyiv

Ukrainian chocolate kingdom of Roshen with its brand-new store in the centre of Kyiv on Kreschatyk is an experience worth a trip from Copenhagen - or any other place for that matter. The sheer variety of candy, chocolate, caramel, cakes is like a childhood-dream-come-true. Don't miss the classics: famous Kyivsky Tort (cake), a box of mouth-watering chocolates Vechirnij Kyiv (Kyiv by night), or, our new favourite Konafetto. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Culture+Travel

Quito, Ecuador – Courtesy of Kaushal Karkhanis via flickr
Ilulissat, Greenland – Courtesy of Ludovic Hirlimann via flickr

Have you made any travel plans for 2013 yet? If you are looking for an inspiration, check out this incredible website ArtInfo: Culture+Travel, which is featuring the most amazing destinations, from Greenland and Mongolia to Ecuador and Madagascar. Art, lifestyle, architecture, cuisine, you can find it all at ArtInfo - we are adding it to our daily must-read list. Enjoy and get inspired.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Traditional Danish Butter Cookies


Are you a fan of the Danish butter cookies? To me they are something we receive once a year for Christmas, as one of the company's traditional holiday gifts. My boyfriend however is a huge fan, and i've been promising for a while to find the recipe that would match the cookies in a famous blue box. Luckily, we seem to have found the winner just last night: this recipe for the Butter Cookies, although called 'Norwegian', is in fact exactly what you need. The cookies turned out lovely: tender, buttery, not too sweet, delicious. All in all it took no more than 30 min. Unless you want three dozens of cookies, cut the size of all the ingredients by 3, and you will still have enough to feed a little army. Have a great week!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Chocolate Cake with Coffee Frosting and Daim

For our last night girls' night in, I was looking for some new and exciting dessert ideas, and luckily, came across this gorgeous looking Chocolate Cake with Coffee Frosting and Daim at one of my favourite Danish baking blogs - CuteCarbs
This Faroese recipe is pretty straightforward and easy to follow. All in all it took me about 1.5-2 hours to make, considering the cooling time after baking (you'll layer the frosting once the cake is cooled). I used half the portion of all the ingredients listed for the Cake, and 100% of the Frosting part. 
The final result was very popular at our last night gathering, and i'm definitely adding this one to my go-to recipes. Try and let me know what you think. Have a lovely weekend !